Thursday, November 22, 2007

Presumptous Vision

Thanksgiving Day 2007

“These are supposed to be the sane Muslim or allies?”

The above is a reaction in form of a question from the report where a Muslim rape victim was given jail time and two hundred lashes. Viewing the report from Western cultural perspective most especially aided by selected sociological filter of our own bias, there is only but one response to this seemly rhetorical inquiry. The follow up question could be then postulated as to what the inquirer wanted to do with the responses. Is it to generate emotional stimuli so we can justify another comparable recent American adventure to free the oppressed by changing the leadership of a sovereign Nation and/or to elucidate that the world is full of unjust and bad people? Or to be thankful that although not perfect, our's is close enough that we American could pause and give Thanks not only to those who made sacrifices, bleed, maimed and lost their lives for us living so we could enjoy things that are often taken for granted in this country but also to acknowledge the bountiful gift from the Great Providence?

Though the latter is very attractive, within the spirit of today’s National celebration, and an appropriate choice from the first two, there is a nagging question after making the selection. Now that the reader acknowledged the generous present we Americans enjoyed, retreating into American psyche, the question now becomes what we can or will do about the knowledge we have gained? Considering we took time to digest an information relative to other culture “sanity,” we quarried into our awareness and compared our social values against morals of a distinct culture, are we going to suit up with our body armor and rescue a distressed damsel or retreat to a Wilson era not to get involved until absolutely required?

Taking again the latter option, what do we mean by “absolutely required?” Would this parameter mean an X-number of lives lost but whose lives? As a Nation are we ready to risk our sons and daughters lives for the purpose of accomplishing something “higher” than ourselves? Questions leads to more questions, as perceived solutions flickered into our mentality; the numbers seems infinite and at times endless. Which options to pick, which approach is more virtuous? A dilemma to a thinking individual who stumbles upon a “simple” question. --- if our friends are sane? Would it make any difference if we take our time, bothered to wear their cultural lens, and view their world according to their own standard? Would it mattered to us if the same people asked our sanity for having a law to let go a criminal because no one read the Miranda Right or the U.S. Attorney General could not make up his mind if water-boarding is or not a form of torture? Who is sane and who is insane---where and who set the line that will separate the two? Which filters to use to view the same object in order to come up with identical perspective? What makes us think they are wrong and we are right? Who or what give us the authority to render judgment? Pretty presumptuous vision, I would think.


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